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Environment/Natural Resources

[Published: Tuesday January 27 2009]

Liberia worms trigger emergency

Monrovia, 27 Jan-(ANA)-Liberia's president has declared a state of emergency in response to a plague of crop-destroying army worms.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said all possible resources would be used to fight the insects, that have spread to next-door Guinea and are nearing Sierra Leone.

Liberia has already appealed for international help to carry out aerial spraying against the insects.

The "worms" - which are actually caterpillars - are among the world's most destructive agricultural pests.

A delegation from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is in Liberia taking samples of the caterpillars to determine the best ways of controlling them.

Guinea has started spraying, and Sierra Leone has announced it will mobilise chemicals and personnel to its border.

Creeks and rivers - which some villages rely on for drinking water - are being polluted by the massive amount of faeces being produced by the swarm.(ANA)

FA/ANA/27 January 2009---

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